Not-So-Manic Rice Krispie Treats

Whenever I need to make a dessert to take someplace, my hope is always that Rice Krispie Treats (RKT) will be appropriate. Not only are they beloved by everyone, but they are both easy to dress up AND easy to make. And seriously, folks, you would be astonished people are when you offer a plate of gussied-up treats. You’ll be blushing all kinds of red because the compliments are never ending.
Here’s how I make RKT, the not-so-manic way: rkt 2
1. I always make a double recipe, so the finished treats are really high.
2. I use more marshmallows than the traditional recipe calls for. (Traditional proportions: 40 marshmallows, 6 cups, rice krispies, ¼ c. butter.) I like mine a little gooier so I do at least 10 – 12 more marshmallows. Hard to be precise, because:
3. I don’t measure any more. I melt the marshmallows and then add stuff until the texture looks right.
4. This is a biggie: I melt the butter & marshmallows in my big 6 quart crock pot. I learned this trick from reading Stephanie O’Dea’s blog, and that right then was when I became a RKT fanatic, because seriously – no more standing and stirring until your arm aches? No chance of burning the goo? Oh YEAH. Just throw the butter and marshmallows in the crock, set it on high or low depending on how much other stuff you have to do, and come back in an hour or two. (You can give it a stir every once in a while. If you don’t, it’s okay. Sometimes the marshmallows will get a little golden toasty, but all that does is enhance the flavor.)
5. Once the mallows are melted, I always add a big scoop of peanut butter. It cuts the sweetness and adds an extra flavor layer. For the same reasons, I almost always use a couple cups of crunched-up pretzels in place of some of the rice krispies.
6. And then it’s time to unleash your inner child and play with other mix-ins. For the ones in the picture, I added some mini Oreos (the ones with peanut butter filling) and some Reese’s Pieces. At Christmas I often add crunched-up Christmas Oreos and bits of candy cane. Some frozen mini marshmallows are fun to toss in at the very end, as are chopped peanut butter cups, leftover Easter candy (especially the Cadbury eggs with the candy shell), M&Ms, cinnamon red hots at Valentine’s – you’re limited only by your imagination.
7. My mom taught me this one: to keep the RKT from sticking to your hands/utensils while you’re spreading/filling the pan, dip them in cold water. And for the love of all your hold sacred, start the marshmallow-goo pan soaking as soon as you’ve finished scraping the last bits out and applying them directly to your hips.
8. The last step, of course, is to cut them in squares and inhale – er, I mean, put your feet up and indulge in one (or two). Enjoy!

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